British writer, broadcaster and speaker Martin Jacques spoke to Beijing Review reporter Li Nan on October 14 about his views of China's achievements since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress was held in November 2012. The following is an edited version of the interview:
Beijing Review: How do you view China's achievements both at home and on the world stage since the 18th CPC National Congress was held in November 2012? What drove those accomplishments?
Martin Jacques: In one word, formidable. It has been a very successful five years. The first driver is the economic transformation of China since 1978. The second driver is the initiatives taken since the last Congress, in particular, the economic reforms, the China Dream, Belt and Road, and the anti-corruption campaign. During this period China has become a major global power.
Beijing Review: What do you think about CPC's governing capability?
Martin Jacques:It is quite clear that the governing capacity of the CPC and the government is extremely effective, the most effective in the world. Think of China in 1978 and think of it today. This is the most remarkable transformation in human history. And it could not conceivably have happened without the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Beijing Review: What challenges do you think the new Party leadership will face in the next five years? How should they tackle such challenges?
Martin Jacques: There are many challenges, mostly continuing the work from the 2012-17 period: continuing economic reform, especially structural reform; carrying through the Belt and Road Initiative; making the anti-corruption campaign not just a campaign but an ongoing process; and developing China's global role. The new problem is how to deal with a U.S. president who is pursuing a strong nationalistic and go-it-alone strategy and thereby seeking to turn the clock back. This will be a major test for the new leadership.
Martin Jacques, born in central England's Coventry in 1945, is a British writer, broadcaster and speaker living in London. He is a senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. He is the author of When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, first published in 2009 by Penguin Books.
Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan
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